If you happen to see smoke in the air, and you notice that it is coming from the area of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, you won't need to call anyone and report it. Starting last week, National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) fire managers, working together as the North Zone Interagency Fire Management Program, anticipate initiating prescribed burning within the North Rim developed area of Grand Canyon National Park.

Fire Managers will be assessing opportunities for prescribed fire as weather and fuel moisture conditions allow over the next two weeks. The North Rim will experience temporary smoke impacts and short duration trail reroutes along the Transept Trail. This period of low visitor use allows a more opportune time to perform fuel reduction burning for infrastructure protection and hazardous fuel reduction.

Fire managers are planning to treat approximately 69 acres targeting light surface fuel loads and downed woody debris composed of logs, twigs, and stems. These types of prescribed fires are important for removing forest floor surface fuels which are the primary carrying fire during wildfire events.

Prescribed fires play an important role in decreasing risks to life, resources, and property. Fire managers carefully plan prescribed fires, initiating them only under environmental conditions that are favorable to assuring firefighter and visitor safety and to achieving the desired objectives such as reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, and protection of sensitive cultural and natural resources.

Smoke will be most visible during ignition operations and will likely gradually diminish after ignitions are completed.Smoke may be visible along Arizona Highway 67 as well as from various locations on the North Rim and South Rim. Smoke is expected in the canyon, one to three days after each ignition. Fire managers are working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality- Smoke Management Division to reduce and mitigate potential smoke impacts.

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